Djcnor’s Weblog

Obama’s Press Conference

Posted on: March 25, 2009

Since I’m in the UK, I didn’t get to watch the press conference. However, the full transcript is available, so I’m reading it. It may take more than one post for my entire response.

Generous of him to say it took many years to reach this economic crisis, leaving folks to give some of the credit to Presidents other than Bush. I wouldn’t be so generous, but I can recognize the wisdom in it.

Create jobs, help responsible home owners, restart lending, and grow the economy long term. It’s nice to have the four main aims stated with such specificity. Such a statement also invites you to examine each program in terms of these aims, whatever side effects might also be their results.

I wouldn’t have thought of the reduction in mortgage interest rates for refinancings in terms of putting money into pockets like tax cuts do. Good point.

Thinking 10 to 20 years ahead. It’s about time somebody did!

“A narrow prosperity”. I’ve never heard that expression before, but it is right on the button concerning what the US has become.

Balance regarding the demonization of all investors and entrepreneurs. Nice.

“when each of us looks beyond our own short-term interest to the wider set of obligations we have towards each other” That’s asking Americans to think and act in a more grown-up manner than they are used to, but oh, what a positive long-term change it would be if they actually began doing that.

I’m afraid he talked above the level of comprehension of average Americans in explaining the lawful intricasies of why AIG had to be handled differently than the banks were. I hope they understood, but again, it’s asking a greater intellectual effort than Americans are used to their leaders asking of them. I know they are up to the challenge in terms of capability, but I wonder if they’re willing.

He’s got some comprehension of the kinds of day-to-day difficulties that American families are already contending with and recognizing them as such. Good, that needed to be done.

Yep, the call to action came in the campaign that brought Obama to office, and the American people did act in a way that probably even surprised themselves. They should be proud of that.

OH! Nice question. Will he defy his own party if necessary. Can’t wait to read the answer. His beginning is excellent. Good parenting, you might say, when the kid is already of age and really can, if he wants, do as he likes. “This is what I expect of you. You can do otherwise, but if you do, know that you have full responsibility for the results. However, since in this case, I am accountable for those results, I reserve the right to make my own choices of actions to counteract yours if necessary.” Very cool.

Deficit question. Nice start, reminding the questioner of what he was handed. The numbers speak well if Americans can do quick simple math in their heads. 7.1 divided by 10 is .71, about half of the annual deficit he was handed. Wonder how many will have done that math?

Challenging the opposition to come up with their own budget was a good move too.

The Univision question! Obama knows that the power and influence of media groups is in flux. He knows which way the tide is flowing, which groups haven’t had much chance for input in the past. Now that’s one of the major benefits of having a black President.

Wow! recognizing some of the US responsibility for the drug gang problems. How dare he! I’m surprised certain circles who prefer to remain in denial are going crazy about that.

Stars and Stripes was also a good choice to call on, but the question was put poorly. Probably, they are not used to getting a chance in such a press conference. Taking on the war profiteers, the military suppliers? The man is brave.

A repeat question, essentially, about the debt being carried forward to the next generations. I heard them talking about his saying he needed to know what he was talking about. How can anyone interpret that as a jibe at Cuomo? It’s obviously about understanding the legal differences in actions that could be taken with AIG versus banks.

An international currency? Amazing anyone dares bring it up. But then again when you compare how well the Euro, a cooperative currency, is doing against the single-country currencies of major nations, I can see why it might be time to think about such a thing. But Obama’s wise enough to know Americans aren’t going to be willing to even consider it.

Mentioning the opinion of the world outside the US as if it were really important, which it is. A challenge to some. But sometimes things just need to be mentioned to perhaps put a suggestion of a different mindset into place.

Man! Facts and facts and facts. I also find it hard to believe anyone found this press conference boring. Maybe to some rich in substance means boring. Marshall McLuhan was told when he proposed the book “Understanding Media” was told that he was providing more information in a single book than people could take in. I have a feeling Obama is doing a bit of the same thing.

Homelessness. Yes, it will become a visible problem again. And the US is not prepared to deal with it. Its time will come and perhaps the US will reach the conclusion of other first world nations that housing, like food, is a right.

Stem cell research, too? Well, you know what I think if you read my blog. It’s in the post titled “The “Kosher” Laboratory”. It’s a very challenging subject for the scientifically challenged American public, though. Sounds to me like Obama would like to do a little research and study before he gave a full answer to this question. I don’t blame him. Science is not his field, and as an academic himself, he defers to academics in other fields.

Persistence. A long attention span. Excellent.

Well, that was fun. That was meaty. And that was respectful of the intelligence of the American people. May they also live up to his  evident expectations of them.

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